With the legacy of a beautiful friendship safely tucked away somewhere in the heart, dating back to the back streets of Trivandrum in the 1950 and 1960s when we played soccer with abandon, I often take liberties with the writings KP Nayar, Telegraph’s bureau chief for the past 10 years in Washington.
For instance, his famous weakness for friendships, which often gets misused by my erstwhile colleagues in the foreign service indulging in their petty turf wars or narcissistic impulses or their vaulting ambitions as bureaucrats, often disheartens me and makes me sigh in desperation.
KP is at his best when he interprets America for the Indians who’ve never visited that country — like me. He does it with compassion, deep understanding and an ‘Indianness’ you can’t find in WaPo or LAT. The piece on the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ campaign is superb. I promptly went on to read Naomi Klein’s speech on Thursday night.
The police is behaving in New York as if they are running scared. Isn’t the political class everywhere the same — be it America or India? It is tempting to conjecture a Tahrir-like situation. The Malayalam newspaper Mathrubhumi had a screaming headline today prognosticating precisely that. A ‘colour revolution’ in America? No, it will never be allowed to happen. And, if that happens, it will be happening under the watch of America’s only ‘Gandhian’ president in all its history.
As a diplomat, I find it irresistible to score a point. The Barack Obama administration thrice counselled Delhi how to handle the Anna Hazare phenomenon. Shouldn’t Delhi say something as the US’s ‘indispensable partner in the 21st century’ — that it is simply cruel to make protestors sleep in sleeping bags out in the autumn chill? What is wrong if 200 protestors pitch a dozen tents in a park? Is it that the lovely park may become a fearsome Tiananmen Square?
Nonetheless, I take heart from KP that there is a war on greed struggling to take wings in America. If the citadel shakes someday, out houses like India may also feel the tremors. There is something unspeakably ugly when corporate power dictates a nation’s destiny.
Posted in Uncategorized.
– October 10, 2011